Future desktop on dumb frame buffers?

Rob Clark robdclark at gmail.com
Sat Mar 19 08:45:23 PDT 2011

On Sat, Mar 19, 2011 at 6:20 AM, Geert Uytterhoeven
<geert at linux-m68k.org> wrote:
> As noone responded to my question in
> http://www.spinics.net/lists/dri-devel/msg08851.html
> (yes, it was a bit hidden in a thread), I'm asking it here again (and
> also on the Wayland
> mailing list).
> Basically I'm still puzzled about this KMS thing. If the name "Kernel
> Mode Setting"
> covers it, then how does it compare to plain fbdev? Just additional frame buffer
> memory management?
> Also, some people may remember we did have kernel messages (e.g. oops, panic)
> on graphical consoles with fbdev, until people started not liking them
> showing up
> on their X desktops...

The KMS part of DRM has nothing to do with acceleration.  So it could
be implemented on a dumb framebuffer.  KMS is just about mode-setting,
and configuring framebuffer (memory) that is scanned out to one or
more displays.


> Furthermore, everybody states that "future desktop" (that's
> http://wayland.freedesktop.org/)
> will require KMS drivers.
> How do/will we handle this on dumb frame buffers? It's not like we can't do
> "advanced" things like compositing using the CPU. Transparency may stretch
> it a bit on lower end CPUs, but you don't always need that.
> Thanks for your answers and comments!
> Gr{oetje,eeting}s,
>                         Geert
> --
> Geert Uytterhoeven -- There's lots of Linux beyond ia32 -- geert at linux-m68k.org
> In personal conversations with technical people, I call myself a hacker. But
> when I'm talking to journalists I just say "programmer" or something like that.
>                                 -- Linus Torvalds
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